The battle that stopped Japan dead in her tracks began on this day in 1942.
For what it’s worth, my favorite telling of the story is Walter Lord’s INCREDIBLE VICTORY. I first read it in junior high, and have been enthralled with the events of those days ever since. I recently picked up a hardcover first edition (just like the battered old school library copy I read in seventh grade) on eBay for a couple of bucks.
INCREDIBLE VICTORY isn’t filled with a lot of technical military terms or jargon. Die hards might find this a bit disappointing, along with an almost total absence of detailed analysis of the machines that men used to fight the battles, but it is written in an easy-to-read, almost novelistic style that engages the mind and makes envisioning those great and terrible events much easier.
I know that all the attention is on the 60th anniversary of D-Day this weekend, and rightly so. But I didn’t want the turning point in the Pacific War to pass unnoticed.